Hydrogen fuel cell technology is pretty cool, but the big thing holding it back right now is a lack of infrastructure for fueling the vehicles. Currently, almost all of hydrogen stations are located in Southern California, but that might change. Servco just opened the first publicly accessible hydrogen filling station on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, so maybe we'll start seeing Toyota Mirai's and Hyundai Nexos there sooner rather than later.
The Servco station is located at the company's flagship Toyota dealership in Mapunapuna and was entirely self-funded. The station is capable of making its own hydrogen, enough to fill 12 Mirais per day. This is a good thing, because Toyota subsidizes the first three years of hydrogen for Mirai buyers, up to $15,000, so they may end up with more than a few new customers at Servco.
"Our hydrogen station will help show Hawaii residents how FCVs can make a real impact on our sustainability goals," said Mark Fukunaga, chairman and CEO of Servco. "FCVs offer zero carbon emissions and zero compromise on refueling time and driving range. They are complementary to hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles, and give customers another option to reduce their carbon footprint. We are committed to the future of mobility in Hawaii, and we believe in the potential for FCVs in our state."
Hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles have the advantage of running completely clean, like a battery electric without being tied to a dirty power grid. It also has the bonus of being able to refuel as quickly as a conventional gasoline-powered car at a designated hydrogen filling station.
"The refueling process is as intuitive as learning to fuel a gasoline vehicle for the first time, and as fast," Fukunaga said. "It's a sustainable mobility option that doesn't require a change in lifestyle."
Hawaii is the first state other than California to offer the Toyota Mirai to customers.